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Music / Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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Left to right: Chase, O, Zinner.

Influenced by:Influenced:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American rock band formed in New York City in 2000, consisting of singer Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. Their sound combines influences from genres including indie rock and various styles of punk (art, garage, dance, etc). According to a 2004 interview, the band's name was taken from modern NYC vernacular.

The band itself has an odd Rock Trio setup, with each member's stage persona fitting a different stereotype. This has been commented on by the band themselves a few times. In particular, Karen O is said to be much more subdued than her stage persona, to the surprise of many fans.

Karen O and Chase met as students at Oberlin College in the late 1990s; Karen later met Zinner in a bar after transferring to New York University. Karen and Zinner initially formed an acoustic duo, but decided to reconfigure into a band inspired by the avant-punk art scene Karen was exposed to at Oberlin. Chase joined their band after their originally recruited drummer left.

The band began generating buzz through supporting/touring with other rock bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes; around this time, they released their debut self-titled EP. Their status elevated further with the critical and commercial success of their first three albums (Fever to Tell, Show Your Bones, and It's Blitz!), released in the 2000s. Hit singles from this time included "Maps", "Gold Lion", "Heads Will Roll", and "Zero".

After the spring 2013 release of their fourth album, Mosquito, Yeah Yeah Yeahs went on hiatus from December 2014 to June 2017. They released a deluxe remaster of Fever to Tell in October of the latter year, and released their fifth album, Cool It Down, in September 2022, marking their first album in nine years.


  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs (EP) (2001)
  • Machine (EP) (2002)
  • Fever to Tell (2003)
  • Show Your Bones (2006)
  • It's Blitz! (2009)
  • Mosquito (2013)
  • Cool It Down (2022)

Trope It Down:

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: "Dudley" is a notable offender in that several of the lines don't even attempt to fit the melody, e.g. "If you can't even cope wi-i-iiith it..."
  • Album Title Drop: Fever to Tell takes its title from a line in "Man."
  • Alice Allusion: "Heads Will Roll", which is sung from the perspective of the Queen of Hearts (See Off with His Head! below).
  • Audience Participation: The video for "Cheated Hearts" features the band performing as well as numerous clips of fans from all over the world, dressed up as the band and also lip-syncing to the song.
  • Careful with That Axe: "Art Star" and "Mysteries."
  • Dance-Punk: This is one of the myriad genres to influence them.
  • Flanderization: The three band members often get reduced to their respective personae. This also happens to Karen O's decidedly non-limited wardrobe.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Maps" supposedly stands for "My Angus Please Stay", Angus being Liars frontman Angus Andrew, Karen's boyfriend at the time.
  • Hidden Track: On Fever To Tell, "Poor Song" is hidden about a minute after the end of "Modern Romance", the last listed song. Digital editions just give "Poor Song" its own track.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: "Date With The Night" is all about specifically female masturbation.
  • Lighter and Softer: "Little Shadow", "Subway", "Wedding Song".
  • Metal Scream: Ho ho, yeah. Karen could give Corey Taylor a run for his money.
  • New Sound Album: It's Blitz!, which saw them moving away from their punk origins to a more electronic sound.
  • Off with His Head!: "Heads Will Roll", duh. Even the first line of the song is literally naming the trope! The end of the music video also alludes this, with the whole band ending up dismembered, and Karen O beheaded.
  • One-Word Title: Plenty. "Maps", "Zero", "Hysteric", et cetera...
  • Performance Video: Most of them.